Could Your Cover Letter Be Preventing You From Gaining That Important Interview?
Your cover letter is your initial introduction to a prospective employer. The purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and entice them to want to learn more about you through an interview. A monotonous and poorly written cover letter may automatically redirect the employer’s interest to the next resume in the pile.
In this electronic age, sending resumes via email is commonplace and easy to do. As a result, prospective employers become inundated with “piles” of cover letters and resumes from an enormous number of applicants, many of whom are underqualified for the positions they are seeking.
A well-written, concise single-page cover letter can instantly gain the interest of the prospective employer who may want to learn more about you.
What Should Your Cover Letter Contain?
While not always required with resume submissions, a well written, explanatory cover letter can make a difference. In a few paragraphs, you can convey your interest, experience level, availability, and even some personal characteristics that can set you apart from the crowd.
Here are some suggestions for creating a successful cover letter:
- Create a Professional Header
An attractive, easy-to-read header sets the stage for who you are and how to contact you. The header should include your name (in bold), a current or recent job title, address, phone number, email address, and a LinkedIn address if you have one.
- Letter Heading: Personalize it
Rather than addressing “To Whom It May Concern,” take the time to learn the name and title of the individual to whom you are sending your query. The business format should begin with the date of your submission along with the addressee’s name, title, company name, and address.
- What Job Are Your Seeking?
In the opening sentence, make sure you indicate the specific position you are seeking. Because of the rising demand for aviation services, some aviation companies have multiple openings available, so it is vital to identify the position.
Using keywords and phrases that apply to that position can help tremendously.
- What are Your Certifications and Qualifications?
While your resume should detail all work and education-related qualifications, your cover letter can summarize a few extraordinary accomplishments. In a short paragraph, discuss a recent success or project that could demonstrate your initiative and knowledge. Also, highlight any job-enhancing certifications or experience that could help your cause.
- Explain Why You Want the Position
While more money or a new location might be primary drivers, they are not the messages you should send. A prospective employer wants to hear more deeply rooted, career-related reasons like:
- Desire to accept new challenges
- Opportunity to work for a well-respected company in the industry
- Improved chance to use your management and communication skills
- Potential to develop and propose new cost-saving ideas
Learning as much as you can about the company before submitting your cover letter and resume will help to provide clues to what they may be seeking.
- Create the Right Closing
Finally, ask for an interview. Mention that you are available to discuss your qualifications in person or by phone. Be confident when suggesting that you would be the best candidate for the position and that you look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities.
- Overall Tone
A style that is too formal can be tedious. Similarly, too informal and silly will also be a turn-off. You should research successful cover letter styles and learn to write in a friendly, business-like manner that is neither overconfident nor too modest.
Finding the right balance is key. Be confident in describing your experience, qualifications, and accomplishments. But you may also benefit from expressing your desire to develop new skills.